Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

I read this book six years ago after my mother-in-law gave me the book. Her book club read it and she enjoyed it enough to pass it on. My book club chose this book to read for this month. It’s been so long since I read the book that I decided to read it again so I could participate in the conversation.

Published: 2007

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 357 pages

Setting: early 1900s, Chicago, Wisconsin, Germany, Italy, and Japan Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Best Energies by Josh Rountree

It’s my last story to read from Rayguns Over Texas. I’ll need to find a new book of short stories to review, now that I’ve finished this one!

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas.

Genre: alternate history

Setting: the U.S. at the end of WWII

Summary: George Washington discovered a pool of water that bestows immortality and has ruled the United States as monarch ever since. Of course, the U.S. is only the Eastern states, and there are several other sovereign nations on the North American continent, including the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston, who also partook of the pool’s water, is currently President of Texas, and once again trying to convince Washington to allow equal access to the Immortality Pool. Washington seems to have unlimited power, especially now that Einstein has turned alchemist and figured out how to modify the pool’s water for multiple uses. Texas has an ace in the hole, though, since they’ve convinced Einstein to turn traitor and develop a bomb to release the magic trapped in the Immortality Pool. Turns out, Einstein has other plans and the bomb won’t do exactly what the Texans expect.

Final thoughts: This was a strong story to finish on. I found the alternate history based around Washington’s immortality quite interesting. In Rountree’s vision, Washington continues to rule the U.S. What kind of problems would develop when your ruler is immortal and controls the source of immortality? It’s tolerable as long as the pool only provides immortality, but once Einstein figures out how to create magical fission bombs, and turning back time, and magical shock troops, the world has some serious problems. Houston recognizes those problems very quickly, and acts on them (hopefully before Washington has time to stop him). I loved the set-up to the story, but the ended seemed a bit soft. The story just kind of stops, with no real resolution to the conflict.

Title comes from: It probably refers to the energy being harnessed by Einstein in the Immortality Pool.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Plitone Revisionist by Paul S. Jenkins

the-plitone-revisionistBack when I didn’t have many podcasts I listened to, I found a source of audiobooks put out in podcast format. Podiobooks is still going strong and looks to be published new titles. I was looking for science fiction stories and found this one. You can listen to it for free from Podiobooks, and maybe throw a few bucks at the author if you enjoy it. It is not available as a print book.

Published: 2007

Genre: science fiction

Setting: out in space, far future Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Valiant by Holly Black

I’m pulling books off my reading lists that fill letters I’m missing on my alphabet challenge. This book fit the bill. I originally put it on my reading list after reading a post about strong female characters in books at The Hub.

Subtitle: A Modern Faerie Tale (there’s a whole series of modern faerie tales by Holly Black)

Published: 2005

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 313 pages (although the book dimensions were small, so it read faster than usual)

Setting: NYC, present day Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

I had no intention of reading this book right now, even though I loved Eleanor and Park. I’m trying to focus on finishing up my reading challenges, and Fangirl doesn’t help any of them. However, Mr. Curiosity got the book out of the library and read it in two days. When he finished, he gave it to me and told me I should read it because it was really good. I figure if I am going to recommend books to him that I hope he reads, I should read a book that he recommends to me. Plus, I had finished all my library books and had nothing on the docket, so it’s not like it was keeping me from something I else I wanted to be reading.

Published: 2013

Genre: YA college fiction

Length: 438 pages

Setting: Nebraska, present day Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Online War by Frances Silversmith

online-war-coverContinuing my reading through the alphabet of short stories provided in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology:

Published: March, 2013 in The Grantville Gazette, Volume 36

Genre: science fiction

Length: 12 pages

Setting: near future Greece

Summary: Tensions are rising in Nicosia, and it looks like Greece and Turkey might go to war. If bullets start flying, it is likely nuclear missiles will fly next. Basil and Daphne are just two ordinary people (with some computer skills) who decide to do something to prevent a nuclear holocaust. Basil is able to hack into the neural interfaces (NIFs) of all the leaders in conflict. Daphne then locks their NIFs into a very realistic war simulation game her company has developed. They record the actions of the leaders and show it to the world.

Final thoughts: An interesting enough story. I liked the fact that Basil was able to hack everyone’s NIFs because he’s using old tech (a desktop computer) that is able to access all the underlying protocols to the apps the NIFs use. There was a bit of a love story developing between Basil and Daphne that I’m not sure I really bought. It was along the lines of “Let’s get some action before the end of the world” and it felt just as passionate. While the world was about to end in a nuclear disaster, I didn’t really feel the tension in the story. It felt more clinical than anything.

Title comes from: The war ended up being fought in an online app, and not in real life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

I was excited to see that John Scalzi had a new story coming out. I read his blog religiously (it’s one of the few places I enjoy the political writing, even in this horrible election cycle), and I try to get to all his new books. Everything I’ve read so far, I’ve enjoyed. So, when he announced he had a novella coming out that you could listen to for free off Audible, I was in, even if it wasn’t his typical genre. And, if you hurry, you can still get the audiobook for free through November 5th (I think). Just click on the cover to follow a link to the site!

Published: 2016

Genre: thriller

Length: 75 pages

Setting: Chicago, near future Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review